David Cameron has ditched controversial sentencing plans to introduce a 50% discount for an early guilty plea following a meeting with the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, on Tuesday.Tony Blair must be looking on, admiring how flexible Mr Cameron's spine is.
It has not yet been decided whether the change will apply to all cases or only the most serious. Downing Street denied that Clarke had been summoned to a meeting by the prime minister or in any way ordered to conduct a U-turn.
The leak of the meeting after cabinet on Tuesday has also irritated the prime minister, who will be uneasy at suggestions that he is conducting a series of policy switches as he comes under pressure either from the rightwing media or his Liberal Democrat coalition colleagues. (1)
1 - "Cameron shelves key parts of Clarke's prison sentencing reforms," by Patrick Wintour, Alan Travis and Hélène Mulholland. Published in The Guardian, 8th of June, 2011. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/08/cameron-shelves-clarkes-prison-sentencing-reforms)